12 March 2008

"Today I Feel Like the Luckiest Baby In the World...."

Mom's in town. She's been the Peanut-sitter whilst I race around getting things done. She went with me for a follow-up with Nurse Excruciating for my wrist thing and showed off Peanut to unsuspecting patients in the waiting room while I went in to the appointment. After several questions and pokes, Nurse E concluded that the injections hadn't worked. Another case solved, Mr. Holmes! I took the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity and probe the motivation behind the way she and Dr. Pain administer such injections. She declared that that particular injection is the most painful injection that they give, by far. Of this I had no doubt. I said, "Indeed it was. But considering the injection I received before this was a virtually pain-free experience, wouldn't it be better to do it a different way rather than inflicting unnecessary trauma to the area?" She slyly responded, "Everyone does things differently." And she attempted to change the subject. However, I didn't want to. I asked again, "Why cause such pain when it's obviously unnecessary? If there's a better and less painful way to approach it, then surely that would be preferrable?" She refused to look at me, instead flipping through my medical chart to look busy, and quickly changed the subject by saying, "Yes, well it didn't work this time and it probably won't work the next, so I would recommend surgery." Of course you would.

Now, I'm not one for conspiracy theories, despite my many attempts to convince The Husband that I believe every major conspiracy theory in existence, plus a few of my own making. But I honestly believe, given that a surgeon makes most of his money in surgeries and not cortisteroid injections, that Dr. Pain and his accomplice, Nurse Excruciating, didn't care so much about the effectiveness of their injections as they hoped to see me again under more painful circumstances anyway. My suspicions were solidified when I finally agreed with her and she ran (yes, ran) out of the room and called scheduling as quickly as possible to get me the very next available spot that Dr. Pain had. My medical insurance doesn't like his "surgical center" and prefers he "operate" on me at an actual "hospital," so that pushed my surgery appt. to the 20th. As a different nurse was debriefing me on the various requirements for this 10-minute procedure (wash entirely with anti-bacterial soap, do not use perfumes, hairspray, or deodorant, do not wear metal or other jewelry, do not think unpleasant thoughts for 48 hours beforehand, do not listen to classical music that morning, register as a Libertarian, etc.) it came out that I would be in the hospital for four hours. For a 10-minute procedure. Peanut will not take a bottle. So screw that.

My mother, ever the helpful advisor, wondered if I could possibly hunt down Dr. Combat to have him fix my wrists again. First off, if I'm going to stalk anyone here, it'll be Flopsy's mother, per our standing agreement. Personally, I consider stalking anybody in the U.S. Army, let alone someone with ready access to drugs and surgical tools, a foolhardy decision at best. I prefer to think of myself as higher up on the Darwinian intelligence scale of evolution than that. Tracking down Dr. Combat for this purpose could only end in tears, numerous restraining orders, and a possible murder-suicide. On top of that, I doubt the Army itself would appreciate my efforts, rewarding them, I'm certain, with a boot to the face (specifically mine), or time in a Federal prison--neither of which appeal to me. My wrists will simply have to go on in pain as long as Dr. Combat proves ineffective at being in two places at once. Damn you, Dr. Combat!!!

Did I mention my mother's in town? The only thing Peanut wants in this world is to be held 24 hours a day. His wildest dreams are coming true.

18 comments:

judiroso said...

Aren't moms the greatest? Have you tried getting a second opinion? Although Dr Combat is superior maybe there is a close second that you can get access to. I agree with you about surgeon's just wanting to be surgeons. And if you had surgery could you nurse after? Sometimes the drugs they give you get into the breast milk, and on that note what was the first shot? Was it a corticosteroid? I was going to get one of those in my shoulder and they said they couldn't because I was nursing? Hmmm, maybe yours was something different, I'll have to go check your previous blog.

Abby said...

The only other option, I'm thinking, is to go directly to Johns Hopkins Hospital for an eval/treat, but given how long I have to wait for every other kind of appt. there, it will take several months just to get in. And by then who knows what it'll be like. But the thought had indeed crossed my mind.

I've heard since then from other friends that the anesthesia gets into breast milk and I still wouldn't be able to nurse Peanut, making the situation suck (no pun intended) even worse. So no matter what it looks like I'll just have to wait.

And yes, I had a cortisteroid injection the first time, too. Both doctors (Combat and Pain) knew I was breastfeeding and neither indicated that would be a problem. Perhaps it's different with the shoulder, like they use more or use something different. Or it's possible your doctor is paranoid. I know a lot of them just simply don't want to take a chance, despite evidence, so they say you can't have it. Dr. Referral made me stop breastfeeding PW to put me on hypertension meds for migraines because it made her feel better about it. My migraine specialist said that was stupid and that those particular meds are perfectly safe while nursing. So I think it's just an overly cautious thing some docs do.

Janie said...

Hey this was partly my profession -as and OT I did a few interships in hand therapy. Its on the low tech end, and I haven't been following this particular story, but have you seen a hand therapist? - There is a brace specifically for this condition that can sometimes help it "heal" -Its a pretty rare thing for someone to have it so severe. good luck!!!

Abby said...

I have the specialized braces for both wrists. I wore them for two weeks after the infamous injections without result. In fact, they've only gotten worse since then. Nice, huh?

Stephanie B said...

I think you should get the surgery and hire a nurse maid for Peanut. There are a few ladies in the ward that probably wouldn't mind making a few bucks... ewwww! I'd offer my services but I'm all dried up... double ewwww!!

I don't mind you stalking me. It makes me feel special. :)

Abby said...

It's a good thing you don't mind because I was going to carry on anyway. :)

Benteti5 said...

Question relation to your meds for migraines. Did it work? My sister has migraines ALL the time. The neurologist and Dr.'s say nothing to be done. She's tried lots of drugs, but I don't think any for hypertension considering we have such low bps to start with, but she might ask about it if it worked because her Dr. told her migraines are like dibetes, you just have it and take drugs for combat.
Good luck with the wrists, though. Nursemaids, ewww. Gave me the willies just reading that.

Abby said...

Yeah, I gagged a little, too. But Stephanie's gross like that.

Migraines. Blech. Long comment ahead. I've had them since I was seven; my neurologist said, along with the family history from both sides (and immediate family too), that I'm "pretty much screwed."

Let's see, I tried Periactin Syrup when I was younger, then hypertension meds, then anti-depressant meds, then TMJ surgery followed by narcotics, then different hypertension meds plus Axert, then Topomax (which gave me eight kidney stones), then some othe anti-depressant I can't remember, then I got pregnant with Peanut and put on Tylenol-3 + Fioricet, and now I'm on nothing but ES Tylenol or Motrin. All of these medications, including stuff like Excedrin, will work for a while, but even after upping the dosage to the maximum amount they lose effectiveness within a year. Many of those listed are either habit-forming or cause rebound headaches and are best avoided. It doesn't help that the medical community creates many of these medications (some are for prevention while others are for pain suppression) while in the mindset that people average two migraines per month. For those of us with considerably more than that, we're treading on thin ice with the meds. So far, the only thing that has consistently worked over an extended period of time is Relpax. It works if you take it early enough--otherwise you're just wasting a $20 pill. My neurologist is an understanding man as he also suffers from migraines, and he made sure I had enough Relpax in my Rx to last me month-by-month, which was on average 18 pills a month (thank goodness for health insurance).

I'll tell you that my migraines improved dramatically when I went off the Pill to conceive Peanut (they had gotten worse after I went on it after PW was born). Hormones play a BIG role in migraines and that's just what the Pill was. And I wasn't even on the worst one, the real Pill, but on the Mini-Pill, and it made that much of an impact. Plus, you're not supposed to be on the Pill if you suffer from migraines anyway as it increases your chances of a stroke. Those extra hormones are one of your worst enemies. I'm reduced to condoms or an IUD, neither of which insurance pays for, regardless of how much they'd be saving in the long run. They're stupid like that.

Anyway, if she's on the Pill, that ain't helping one bit. And then I'd look into the Relpax, but they usually tie that up with a preventative like hypertension meds if she hasn't tried that family of drugs yet. And incidentally, hypertension meds won't make normal BPs drop, just high blood pressures, so she should still be OK (according to my guy).

Also, my guy recommended the book "Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain." Get it from the library rather than buying it. Mind you, he studied under the author at Johns Hopkins, but I don't think he was terribly biased as he said some of that stuff in there like the strict diet they recommend should be only loosely followed; try what works for you and if you find a food trigger, eliminate it drom your diet. Anyway, the book helped me understand why migraines are and do what they do and that has helped me cope immensely.

Also, the biggest food trigger, MSG, which we will all be eating in Hell, is found in much more than Asian cuisine now. I've found it in just about any product where they want to be cheap about the seasoning, like even peanuts and Hamburger Helper. So you always have to check ingredients like crazy.

And the next time I go in (it takes four months to get an appt.) I want to ask about the freezing-the-nose thing. And maybe that hole-in-the-heart deal, too.

Benteti5 said...

Thanks. She's had a hysterectomy so no pill. She does have a patch to keep her womanly, I wonder if that is a trigger. She's on Topamax now, just started, but don't think she likes it. Relpax, sounds like what she takes, Maxalt, don't know the spelling, but like 20 bucks a pill. Gotta catch it early.
I'll tell her about the MSG and the book. She's allergic to every single thing and a lot of them trigger headaches. I thought you were military from the BTU reference. IUD's are free for military and I have a Mirena and love it. I had a copper before this and liked it too, but longer periods. The 300 bucks pays off in the long run vs. condoms. Well, I guess if you only do it once a month then maybe not.

Abby said...

As I said, just beware Topamax as they can cause kidney stones. Really, really not fun things to pass. While Topamax does encourage weight loss, it also makes you stupid. So there's that.

The Husband is retired military and we have Tricare through Johns Hopkins instead of a military hospital; this version of Tricare doesn't pay for IUDs.

BTU?

Benteti5 said...

BTU, camies. I think that's the army version, thought you mentioned it. We're Navy and they're just camies. That's lame that Tricare is a selective coverer.
Skinny and stupid, I guess that's the goal. Since we're already borderline flaky, where's the harm, might as well drop a few pounds.

Abby said...

BDU. Battle Dress Uniform. We were Navy, too, so that's no excuse. :P

This version of Tricare is called Uniformed Services Family Health Plan. The military cooperates with various civilian hospitals (like Johns Hopkins) to reduce the strain and workload on military hospitals. Only dependents and retired military can use it--AD military still have to use military facilities.

They call Topamax the Super Model drug because of the skinny/stupid result. I asked my guy if the stupid thing would be permanent and he said, "Only if you were dumb as a shoe before you took it." Funny man. It took several months for me to get my brains in order after I went off of it, but frankly, I thought it was strangely funny to be that temporarily stupid. Really, it just affects the language center of the brain. You know how you can't find the words you want when you're tired and it's 3am and you're trying to write or say something? That's what it's like all day long. And worse yet, my doctor knew I was stupid and I'd be there in his office trying to describe something, completely incapable of finding the words I needed to do so, and he'd just stare at me instead of suggesting words. That jerk. But I still love him with all my heart because he gives me drugs.

Stephanie B said...

Well, your migraine meds were a post inside a post. Well, done.

Benteti5 said...

So it's BDU, and it actually stands for something. Who knew? All I know is that they're great, no ironing. What's up with the 5 creases. Such a pain. My hub is Navy, but works with Marines so he gets to wear their gear, much better. Women talk about loving men in uniform and I have to say the Navy ones just don't do it for me. But then again, the Marines don't match. That's why the bdu's are great, they look manly.

Abby said...

Yeah, never get me talking about migraines. I don't shut up. Kinda like McCain and torture.

I admit I'm a fan of BDUs myself--manly indeed. But only on the right man. Otherwise it just makes a wimpy guy even wimpier. I gotta say though, that I don't care for the Army's berets in general. What, are we Europeans or something? Not manly.

I enjoyed the Navy's working whites the most out of all the Navy uniforms. Those were always a favorite of mine and quite possibly why I wound up marrying The Husband. Just. Couldn't. Resist. So cute.

Benteti5 said...

What is up with the beret's, very bugly. I was laughing at your friendly saying fugly because I say bugly all the time. Only the right guy can pull off a working white. Your husband must be taller and leaner than mine. But the camies, the way it hugs the bulging bicep, ooh la la. But you're right, on those meatless guys, it is kinda sad.

Abby said...

The Husband I guarantee isn't taller than yours, but he was certainly lean. The whites hung on him very nicely. And he had the butt for them, too.

So what's bugly a contraction of?

Benteti5 said...

My husband is only 5'9" on a good day, but 220 and not much of that is fat. The camies just make you want to grab a butt, though.
Bugly is butt ugly.